Online Hay Production 101 short course is back by popular demand in 2024

Join our team of Michigan State University Extension specialists and educators online in February and March to learn the ins and outs of growing, harvesting and marketing your hay crop.

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Photo by Kim Cassida, MSU Extension

Year after year, the market for good hay in Michigan outstrips supply, leading to dependable prices for hay growers who put in the time it takes to manage this demanding crop. Recent market conditions let row crop growers see an opportunity to add a perennial hay rotation that is in demand and can provide its own nitrogen when alfalfa and clovers are included. Dairy, beef, sheep and goat producers and horse owners may want to grow their own forage so they have better control over supply and nutritional quality. However, hay is a challenging crop that is not for everyone. As with any other agricultural enterprise, there are many things to learn.

Michigan State University Extension is once again holding Hay Production 101, an online short course to help farmers interested in learning how to grow hay. The main objective of our team of MSU Extension specialists and educators is to assist newcomers to the world of hay, but there is value here also for those looking to improve an existing hay operation. Management recommendations will focus on the greater Michigan and Great Lakes region.

This is an online course taught as six sessions using Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 27 through March 14, 2024. Sessions may be attended in real time and will also be recorded for future viewing by registrants. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and interact with instructors in each live session.

Topics covered will include:

  • Industry Overview
  • Planning to Meet Your Farm Goals: Forage Species and Varieties
  • Soil Fertility and Health Management
  • Hayfield Establishment and Renovation
  • Harvest Management
  • Post-harvest Processing and Storage
  • Pest Management: Weeds, Insects and Diseases 
  • Cost of Production and Marketing

The cost of the course is $85. Pre-registration is required in order to receive the session links.

Register for Hay Production 101

For more information about the course, contact Kim Cassida at

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